Divock Origi scored his sixth goal of the season in his 16th appearance on Sunday, with the outgoing Liverpool striker insisting he “doesn’t take it for granted.”
It has been a challenging campaign for Origi, often serving as fifth- or sixth-choice forward, but after a barren spell in 2020/21, he has made a big impact regardless.
The Belgian has only made five starts in all competitions, coming off the bench another 11 times, but with six goals and three assists in that time, he is averaging a direct goal contribution every 62.6 minutes.
His latest goal came in Sunday’s Merseyside derby, introduced on the hour and playing a big part in Andy Robertson‘s opener before heading home the result-clincher.
It was almost certainly his last derby, with a free transfer to AC Milan expected this summer, and speaking to LFCTV after the game, Origi was in a philosophical mood.
“It’s a joy to be able to play here. We’ve worked hard to be in this position, to be able to compete for all prizes.
“For me, it’s just prepping and playing football.
“In the end, I’m grateful that opportunities come in these games – it makes it even more special and puts us in a good momentum for the season as well.”
Few could begrudge Origi for opting to leave Liverpool upon the expiry of his contract this summer, given he has only started more than seven games for the club in one of the last five seasons.
But the club will certainly miss having a squad player of his calibre, with the 27-year-old outlining how he has been consistently able to make an impact despite his lack of minutes.
“For me as a player, it’s staying ready, trying to do extra work, to level up what you maybe missed in game time, and then coming in and making plays,” he said.
“In football, you cannot know what happens before the game, you can just get as well-prepared as possible.
“Once you know that you’re prepared you can come in and enjoy the game. That’s what happened today.
“Obviously the goal is to help the team, so that’s the most important thing.”
Origi added: “It’s unbelievable. Honestly, I don’t take it for granted.
“It’s such a pleasure to be able to play football at the highest level.
“To win these games for the club means so much, for me means so much.
“So after the game you can look back, be happy, but especially now take it, put it in the baggage and take it for the next game – and hopefully keep the momentum going!”